SECAUCUS, N.J. and NEW YORK, May 25, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) and Paige today announced a collaboration designed to unlock the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) to improve and speed the diagnosis of cancer and other diseases that rely on pathologic assessment.
The collaboration involves analysis using Paige’s proprietary machine learning expertise of pathology diagnostic data and digitized slides from Quest Diagnostics and its AmeriPath and Dermpath businesses to uncover markers of cancer and other diseases. Using these insights, the parties intend to develop new software products which, following regulatory approval, will be marketed to pathologists, oncologists and other providers to support disease diagnosis. Near term, the parties also intend to license the insights to biopharmaceutical and research organizations to aid biomarker discovery, drug research and development and companion diagnostics.
The collaboration will initially focus on solid tumor cancers, such as prostate, breast, colorectal and lung. The agreement involves shared revenue for achieving certain product and commercial milestones and, assuming regulatory approval, arrangements for Quest to use approved software products in its pathology operations as well as joint marketing and research. In addition, Quest’s pathologists will aid in defining pathology workflows for using the products to support diagnostic decision-making. Additional terms were not disclosed.
“As the leader in advanced diagnostics, we are excited to actively participate in the creation and use of new technologies that further the mission to make precision medicine clinically accessible, actionable and economical. We are energized about contributing our expertise to Paige’s computational pathology leadership to deliver insights from leading-edge technologies to improve the diagnosis of cancer and other diseases,” said Kristie Dolan, General Manager, Oncology Franchise, Quest Diagnostics.
The collaboration combines Quest’s leadership in advanced diagnostics, pathology subspecialty expertise and national scale with Paige’s leading AI-based software capabilities and proprietary data from millions of digitized pathology slides and associated therapy information. Quest and its specialty pathology businesses bring subspecialty expertise based largely from serving community cancer centers, which provide 80% of cancer care nationally, complementing insights from Paige’s academic center expertise.
“We are excited to collaborate with Quest to create new software products that can deliver faster, more accurate and more informed clinical insights to patients than what is possible today,” said Leo Grady, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Paige. “Given Quest’s vast footprint in the diagnostic space this collaboration will enable us to ensure broad adoption of the clinical products and biomarkers we’re building.”
Cancer diagnosis typically involves visual inspection of tumor tissue on a glass slide by a pathologist using a microscope. In contrast, AI-enabled computational pathology can identify known patterns in tissue that characterize disease as well as identify new markers, including those that are not necessarily detected by the naked eye. Because AI systems improve with exposure to new data, the data from Quest’s deep subspecialized expertise is poised to enhance Paige’s efforts to discern new insights that may improve cancer diagnosis and patient care.
Digital Pathology Use
The collaboration also aligns with Quest’s goal to expand its digital pathology network for its pathologists across the United States. The company employs widely used and cost-efficient digital technologies from different manufacturers to enable pathologists to capture and share digital images of slides with other experts to confer on findings, improving diagnosis. Paige’s software platform is interoperable across several digital systems and is designed to deploy AI-based diagnostic products into pathology workflows.
Digital pathology technologies enable pathologists to capture and share digital images of slides with experts in other locations – including in the United States and globally – to confer on findings and thereby improve diagnosis.
Quest Diagnostics is a world leader in advanced diagnostic services, including in oncology. With its AmeriPath and Dermpath specialty pathology businesses and 600 MDs and PhDs, Quest Diagnostics provides highly advanced pathology services for health systems and other providers in the United States and overseas.
Paige was founded in 2017 by Thomas Fuchs, Dr.Sc. and colleagues from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK). The company builds computational pathology products designed so patients and their care teams can make effective, more informed treatment decisions. With this new class of AI-based technologies positioned to drive the future of diagnostics, Paige created a platform to deliver this novel technology to pathologists to transform their workflow and increase diagnostic confidence and productivity. Paige’s products deliver insights to pathologist and oncologist so they can arrive efficiently at more precise diagnosis for patients. Having recently closed a successful Series C financing round led by Casdin Capital, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc. and KKR, Paige is able to expand its footprint and become the global leader in AI-based diagnostic software for use in pathology. Paige is the first company to receive FDA breakthrough designation for computational pathology products.
About Quest Diagnostics
Quest Diagnostics empowers people to take action to improve health outcomes. Derived from the world’s largest database of clinical lab results, our diagnostic insights reveal new avenues to identify and treat disease, inspire healthy behaviors and improve health care management. Quest annually serves one in three adult Americans and half the physicians and hospitals in the United States, and our nearly 50,000 employees understand that, in the right hands and with the right context, our diagnostic insights can inspire actions that transform lives. www.QuestDiagnostics.com.